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A man died over the weekend after family members said he saved his 16-year-old daughter from drowning in a Texas lake.


Zapata County sheriff’s deputies were called around 2:35 p.m. Saturday to a report of a possible drowning near the boat ramp at Falcon Lake in Falcon State Park.

Family members told deputies that Juan Jesus Sandoval, 34, rescued his 16-year-old daughter from the lake but said he failed to make it back to shore.

Deputies, assisted by U.S. Border Patrol agents, Texas park rangers and others, searched for Sandoval but found no sign of him.

Authorities found his body about three hours later with help from Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Zapata County Fire Department’s dive team, deputies said. He was pronounced dead around 5:45 p.m.

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Relatives called Sandoval a “hero” in social media posts, the Laredo Morning Times reported.

“You left this world as a hero by giving your life for your precious daughter,” wrote Yvette Cornejo, according to the Morning Times. She said that everyone who knew Sandoval loved him.

“So young, gone to soon,” she wrote. “Truly an angel and a hero.”

Deputies continue to investigate the drowning.

Family and friends remember a father who died saving his drowning daughter AP Photo/Joe Hermosa
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